Join Stan Graham for lunch at Archie’s as he deviates from his self-imposed constraints.
“Stanley Graham, you are charged with breaking three of your self-imposed laws; namely, that you did dine in a public house as opposed to a pure eating establishment, that said public house is one of a chain and that, although said public house was a purveyor of real ale, you ordered a glass of wine. How do you plead?”
“Guilty, Your Honour.”
“Do you have anything to say in mitigation?”
“Your Honour, I went to Granary Wharf with a view to reviewing another establishment but it was full and so I had to look for an alternative. The weather was less than clement and so I chose to remain in the area. I selected Archie’s as, although it is a public house and owned by Ossett Brewery who have other premises in Granary Wharf, The Hop is their main drinking establishment whilst Archie’s is more food orientated.”
“And what is your opinion of the venue?”
“My initial reaction was very positive. I was shown to my table by a charming young lady who immediately presented me with a complimentary large carafe of chilled tap water and a menu. There was a notice on the wall advertising an “Express Lunch” from which I ordered the bbq pulled pork and slaw sandwich. I was informed that chips were included and was given a choice of several variations. One was Roman Chips which were enhanced with parmesan, truffle and rosemary. As these appeared to enhance the sandwich fillings they are the ones for which I opted.”
“I understand that this is when the ordering of the wine occurred. Is that correct?”
“Yes, Your Honour.”
“What is the reason for this abomination when a selection of real ales was on offer?”
“As I had ordered bbq pulled pork with chips I surmised that there would be residue of grease on my lips which, as your forensic experts will confirm, takes the head off a pint of ale quicker than Madame Guillotine. As it happens, the chips were remarkably grease-free so I need not have worried about my first option of a pint of Excelsior.”
“You may continue with the defence.”
“Thank you, Your Honour. The wine was a Merlot which was £5.40 for a 250ml glass, and of excellent quality. My only criticism of the lunch was that the pork could have been hotter as it was no more than warm. The chips were superb, the added flavours a real bonus. Speaking of bonuses, had I ordered from the main menu, the sandwich would have cost £6.00 and the chips £3.50, but by taking advantage of the Express Lunch, the cost for the two items was £6.50; a bargain I would submit. I declined dessert and ended with a black Americano at £2.80. I now throw myself on the mercy of the court.”
“Having listened to the evidence and, taking into account that this is your first offence, I am minded to let you off with a caution. I must, however, remind you that although you set your own rules, that is no excuse for breaking them. Where would we be if politicians who make the laws of the land, decided that they could break them willy nilly?”
“Thank you Your Honour. I promise to be as scrupulous in my future conduct as the people aforementioned.”
Stan writes Let’s Do Lunch for Leeds Living. He also reviews special events for food and drink, which sometimes takes him beyond Leeds. He has also developed an interest in writing on culture, most frequently dramatic and musical theatre.